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Mad Eye
I've got my eye on you...

If a character is deranged, or has just lost it for a moment, one eye is drawn as being very different than the other. Commonly, the Mad Eye (or its iris/pupil) is much larger than the other. Can also double as an unspoken Oh, Crap moment. For extra effect, may be paired with Twitchy Eye.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Quite a lot of the time, really. But then, he's insane quite a lot of the time.
  • Anything by Jhonen Vasquez has this.
  • The Mask: [1]
  • Falling under the "Deranged Character" subset are The Joker's eyes as drawn in Batman: RIP. There, one of his pupils is drawn slightly larger than the other, giving him a dangerous and mentally off-kilter look. The effect is so slight that it's only noticeable in close-up shots of the character, but it's definitely there. Then again, he is a Monster Clown with enough crazy to fill Arkham Asylum's halls ten times over.
  • Most Returners in Dead Eyes Open seem to have one eye permanently open with a shrunken pupil.
  • A specialty of Alan Davis. In the classic Detective Comics story "Fear for Sale", he combines this with an Expressive Mask.

    Films — Animated 
  • In 9, 6 has one eye slightly larger than the other as a permanent feature, confirming his Cloudcuckoolander status.
  • In An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, Wiley Burp teaches Tiger how to intimidate someone using "The Laaaayyyyzzzzyyy Eyyyyye!" which is essentially an intentional ecovation of this trope.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The New Guy, Luther teaches Dizzy his "Crazy Eye" which consists of squinting one eye and opening the other wide.

    Literature 
  • The aptly-named Mad-Eye Moody from Harry Potter has a magical replacement eye. It's bright blue, the size of a golf-ball, has 360 rotation and can see through just about anything. It's also virtually never looking in the same direction as his other eye.
  • The unnamed old man in Edgar Allan Poe's classic The Tell-Tale Heart. One eye, due to some deformity, is described as a "vulture eye" with a film over it. However, the eye drives the old man's roommate to insanity (whether this roommate is his servant, his apprentice, a caretaker or even his spouse is never mentioned).
  • The Scarecrow from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is described as having one eye larger than the other (accompanied by mismatched ears) due to poor artistry on his creator's part. He never really loses his cool at any point in the book, and he is never depicted as any more crazy than the rest of the Ozians, so it might be considered Subverted.
  • The Red Right Hand of the mercurial Serial Killer Karkas in Galaxy of Fear is that he has one "crushed" eye.
  • Scorpion Shards: Everyone maddened by Dillon gets one dilated pupil and one pinpoint pupil

    Live Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor's eyes do not quite ever point in the same direction, which is a really big part of how mad he looks. (The actor is perfectly capable of pointing both his eyes in the same direction when not in character.) His pupils are also noticeably off-centre.

    Mythology 
  • Having a literal Mad Eye is Older Than Print: Cuchulain, the Irish folk hero. Whenever he went into one of his unstoppable rages, one of his eyes would get smaller and the other would get bigger. " ... he sucked one eye so deep into his head that a wild crane couldn't probe it onto his cheek out of the depths of his skull; the other eye fell out along his cheek." Now thats a Mad Eye.

     New Media  
  • This guy: o_O

    Newspaper Comics 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Brian Pillman, after he became a loose cannon. Though it was more like madman with a lazy eye, rather than anything exaggerated.
  • Kane had one on Monday Night Raw after unmasking. One eye was an icier blue with a smaller pupil.
  • Kzy of Dragon Gate seems to have the same affliction Kane does. More noticeable in fact because Kzy's other eye is brown.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One Paranoia mission has a General Ripper who "glares at his subject with one bulging and one squinting eye: paranoid fear and clinical suspicion".

    Theme Parks 
  • The Ghost Galaxy in Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy has one skeletal-eye-socket and one giant blue nebula-eye.

     Video Games  

    Webcomics 
  • Black Mage, from 8-Bit Theater does this a lot, and was stuck for a while after a particular bit of frustration. As he put it after listening to one of Red Mage's "plans", "That's so stupid I can't even see straight."
  • The titular amorph from Schlock Mercenary has one eye that is literally larger than the other, and the cartoonist is consistent about which is which, and what side each is on. Since Schlock can move his eyes around it doesn't really matter though.
  • Several characters in Girl Genius do this sometimes... and there's one, a construct, who really does have one eye bigger than the other.
  • Bob from Bob the Angry Flower. When Bob's scorching feral mania comes to the fore, he gets the Mad Eye.
  • Vatsy, the insane journalist from Vatsy And Bruno, is always drawn with one eye in shadow to accentuate his wrong-ness.
  • Helen Narbon of Narbonic gets this occasionally.
  • Kano of Kagerou is frequently seen with pupils of very different sizes, though his actual eyes are the same size. The effect is halfway between Mad Eye and heterochromia.
  • Nova from Keychain of Creation, especially when in Mad Scientist mode.
  • Used in Commander Kitty to show intense pain, or to illustrate the sudden, terrifying feeling of being the Only Sane Man amongst a crazy crew that insists you get a costume change.
  • In this El Goonish Shive sketchbook strip, Dan gets this while explaining his "master plan".
  • Drowtales: One cameo character, Cac'bolg, has eyes like these. This emphasizes the fact that he's a member of Vel'Vloz'ress, the most messed up and chaotic faction in all of Chel'el'Sussoloth. Also, he seems to have some kind of obsession with poisons.

     Web Original  

     Western Animation  
  • Bumi from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Many characters from Invader Zim, including the titular invader on occasion.
  • Mr. Demartino from Daria.
  • Blitzwing from Transformers Animated has asymmetric eyes in one of his three faces. He's definitely crazy, having three personalities and all, but the odd-sized are on the most calm and calculating face. Really, it's mostly there to make it look like a monocle, as an homage to Colonel Klink.
  • Shado the Brain Thief from Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. His mad eye alternates from right to left.
  • Uncle Ruckus in The Boondocks.
  • The Tick — the title character, who is never entirely straight.
  • Vince from Rex The Runt, one of the more random oddballs in claymation: given to random fits of Pavarotti and tangential one-word sentences.
  • The starring spider in the (still unfinished) Art Institute of Portland student production Tangled Web, sometimes. Then again, he's decided to become a vegetarian and is desperate to avoid the delicious, delicious fly that's just landed in his web, so can you really blame him?
  • The Vigar puppet on BRATS Of The Lost Nebula was the first one with different sized eyes to be approved by Brian Henson.
  • VERY evident on Ed, Edd n Eddy. "Boy Double D. Eddy never stares at ME like that."
  • In The Critic, Duke Phillips once answered a reporter's question by telling him to "stare deep into the hypnotic powers of my EEEeeevil eeeye!" It apparently works.
  • Discord of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has red eyes with two irises of different sizes to illustrate his...discord!
    • More commonly used on the show as a brief, unspoken Oh, Crap moment on the part of the rest of the cast.
    • Also happens to Mane Cast members when they suffer Sanity Slippage, often combined with Twitchy Eye.
  • Two-Face gets this treatment as an effect of stylization in Batman: The Animated Series, as does Jonah Hex in the episode "Showdown." Characters that aren't completely human, such as Man-Bat and Clayface, sometimes do this.
  • Dr. Mystico on Freakazoid!, as if his introductory speech weren't enough of a giveaway.

     Real Life 
  • Anisocoria, or asymmetric pupil dilation, can be a sign of serious neurological problems. This is also one of the first things EMTs check for when they suspect a concussion.


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